New Castle County announced the launch of its Open Checkbook portal Monday. It’s the county’s latest effort to ensure government transparency.
The portal allows for public searches into the county’s spending. Searchable categories include vendor, department, division, expense category, and more.
New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer says he hopes residents will take advantage of the new tool – and ultimately help him do his job better.
“That is – what can we do – what expenditures can we all find that maybe could be scaled down a little bit without county residents seeing an effect to that," Meyer said. "Are there places we can see additional revenues?”
Meyer says it also includes a feature called an API.
“It’s actually very important," Meyer said. "It enables software developers anywhere in the world to tap into our data – to read and view our data.”
He says that means data will be available in real time – and will be more likely to be included in studies about government spending.
A county spokesman says some sensitive public safety data may be censored, but the dollar amounts shouldn’t be affected. All county data will be made public through the portal, except for the expenditures of county council members. So far only three council members – Cartier, Smiley and Wiener – have agreed to participate.
New Castle County Councilman Robert Weiner says he's been working for years to ensure more public access to county government.